‘Spirit 2.0‘ is the first track that Sampha has released in 6 years, which is a serene genre-bending fusion of top talent. With his last year seeing him work with both Stormzy and Kendrick Lamar, he is now back to producing his own music, following up his Mercury Prize winning album ‘Process‘.
On Spirit 2.0, he reaches out to names such as Yaeji (whose album ‘With A Hammer‘ is one of the most exciting projects of this year) and prominent jazz musician Yussef Dayes. Sampha is drawing on the current liquid drum and bass revival and putting a twist on it. He is incorporating West-African folk drums to create something rather unique.
Just to start, you have to mention those standout drums on this track. They’re sharp and precise with Sampha’s voice gliding over the piece. The string sections here add to this tremendous cinematic feel, evoking low lights and cold drinks. It’s an expansive track that builds and builds on itself. But, it shifts into something else so effortlessly that you don’t really notice. It weaves elements of D’n’B and hip-hop into folk, creating a delightful R’n’B track.
All in all, it feels peaceful, edging even onto ‘late night plastic chair in the back yard conversation’ tranquility. This is what Sampha appears to be evoking. When writing about the track, he states: “Just calling someone up without overthinking, letting go and just dancing, wanting to see past the mundanity of things and appreciating the magic of it all, from birds nests to spaceships.”
A polished record that oozes skill, floating across wondrous string sections that invite you to lay back and relax. Furthermore, the message here is you are loved, be present, and enjoy. This is an exciting prelude, hopefully for a larger project later in the year.